The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 6, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-6 | We can just imagine what they say

— Phil, a CEO from a leading oil company, and Sam, from the U.S. Department of Energy, were having a lunch outing at an exclusive country club.

Sam asked Phil: “What excuse are you going to give this year for the large increase in prices for gasoline and other oil products?”

Phil replied: “We are going to use the same old reasons that are always expected by the complacent American public. As long as we keep sending millions of dollars to Washington, D.C., to keep the House and Senate quiet, we do not see a problem with the increases. Plus, it keeps your job secure.”

“Oh, by the way, Sam,” Phil said, “our company is picking up your tab for this three-day outing.”

“Thank you,” Sam replied. “I owe your company. I plan to ask the news media not to publish the huge profits you enjoy at the expense of the uniformed American motoring public.

“Enough business, Phil. Let’s get back to the golf course.”

Joseph Sherwood

Twin Rocks

Expanding Medicaid good gov’t at work

Columnist Cal Thomas says (March 2) that governments at the state and federal levels have no obligation to help the weak and poor, insisting this is a charge to which “charities and religious bodies are obligated.”

Yet Thomas, like so many other constitutional conservatives, implores that our society must return to morality. Can there possibly be a greater moral imperative than granting protection and support to the weakest among us? Thomas must either forget this or he ignores this, just as he must have forgotten that the Constitution was ordained and established, in part, to “promote the general welfare.”

Our prosperity as a nation can be judged only by the least among us. And in Thomas’ mind, we were at a much better place when the charities and religious organizations were unable to keep people from starving during the Great Depression.

The right wing of this country loves to construct an “us against them” alternate reality when talking about their relationship to the government, laying aside the fact that our consent is necessary to be governed.

We are not subjects to a foreign crown; I am just as much a citizen of this country as Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) or President Obama. The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is a government of, for and by the people fulfilling its moral obligation to promote the general welfare and insure millions of uninsured Americans, myself included.

It’s strange but not surprising, that the author, as a member of the so-called “moral majority,” never considered this.

Todd H. Holsopple


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